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18 Aug 10. A report to Congress sheds some light on the U.S. Army’s tactical wheeled vehicle strategy, but leaves many questions unanswered until further information becomes available. The report, which was mandated by Congress in the explanatory statement accompanying the 2010 defense appropriations bill, broadly outlines the Army’s acquisition strategy for tactical wheeled vehicles. It was first reported by InsideDefense.com. Citing concerns that the Army lacked an overall strategy for procuring trucks, Congress required the service to submit a report on its plans. In the report, the Army admits that the document submitted is not the full picture. One missing piece of information is the number of Joint Light Tactical Vehicles (JLTVs) the Army plans to buy. A chart in the report outlines the Army’s procurement goals for 2025. For JLTV, the report says, “to be determined.”It’s been reported that the Marine Corps is expected to purchase 5,500 of the Humvee replacements, and the Army has said it could buy 60,000 or so. However,
Army officials have acknowledged that number could change as the tactical wheeled vehicle strategy evolves. The overall number of light, medium and heavy trucks is expected to fall between now and 2025, according to the report. Today, the Army has 260,000 trucks, and in 2025 it plans to have 244,000. The Army explains how it plans to manage and armor its fleet, but the service is waiting on a number of other reviews to wrap up or be approved before it can provide more information, according to the report. Under “constraints,” the report says, “There are several key [tactical wheeled vehicle] documents that are currently not approved and are being worked that have influenced the Army’s overall [tactical wheeled vehicle] acquisition strategy.” These are the draft tactical wheeled vehicle long-term protection strategy, a G-8-initiated tactical wheeled vehicle strategy update, phase two of a truck study being done by the Army’s Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), and a Defense Department Cost Assessment Program Evaluation study for the Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles. TRADOC is also leading a major force-mix and force-design study to help shape the next two program objective memorandums. Changes to the Army’s force structure will directly affect the number of trucks and associated armor kits the Army plans to buy.
“Changes to the Army force structure and how the Army equips the new force structure continues to mold TWV requirements with respect to quantity and quality metrics,” the report reads.
The Army’s truck portfolio is unwieldy to manage because it is so big and
because there are several variants of each type of vehicle. The Army plans to buy new vehicles, repair and upgrade existing trucks, and retire older ones across the fleet to ensure the best mix of vehicles is available, the report says. For example, the Army plans to shed 4,000 of its 19,000 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) and MRAP-All Terrain Vehicles by 2025.In addition to how many, the Army is also trying to answer questions about how to armor and how much to armor its giant fleet of trucks. Prior to Sept. 11, 2001, a